On the heels of recently opening for country star and Juno-Award winner Brett Kissel last month, Red Deer singer/songwriter/guitarist Jamie Woodfin is counting the days until he releases superb new tunes of his own. There’s an exciting momentum to Woodfin’s career these days with a growing number of opportunities as well.
“We’ve been getting quite a bit more traction as far as getting more shows,” he explains during a recent interview. In just a few days from now, fans will be able to download exceptional new music from the talented Red Deer-based artist, who originally hails from Ponoka.
Just Feels Right, set for release to Canadian country radio on April 7th as well, is an engaging, bold and polished country/rock single – a perfect selection for showcasing Woodfin’s strength and originality as a vocalist and a gifted musician.
Another song, You Are This Town, again features Woodfin at his best, in a genre that suits him perfectly and that he’s certainly at home in. The songs were produced by Matty McKay (who also plays lead guitar for Kissel) and recorded at Evergreen Sound in Calgary. Some of the recording and mastering was also done in Nashville, and the results reflect a commitment to not only finding the perfect material, but also to the raft of experience that went into the production.
Woodfin said it took some time to find the best, most personally fitting songs to tackle. “Would I feel like I could sing this song with conviction, and really be able to dig into it and have a listener believe what I’m saying? We listened to lots – probably a few hundred – and the thing is it has to work for you. Plus, we were writing at the same time too, so we’ll be doing more studio work in the coming months.”
He finds the country music community to be most welcoming, reflecting on the recent gig with Kissel in Fort McMurray. Woodfin was thrilled for the opportunity, and can’t say enough about the professionalism and kindness that Kissel and his team showed. “For me, it was to date one of my biggest highlights.”
It was also exciting to be able to perform his own material to such an enthusiastic and welcoming audience. “I absolutely love it and at the same time it’s super nerve-wracking,” he laughs. “But within a few songs, you let yourself sit back a bit more – then it’s just amazing.
“The crowd was really, really responsive which was huge. If a crowd is into it, it instantaneously drives so much more energy into the show.”
Woodfin really treasures opportunities like this, and they provide plenty of inspiration for him as he continues to make his musical mark locally and dream of what’s to come.
“We’re releasing my EP, and officially we should be having it up on iTunes early this month,” said Woodfin, adding a radio tour is in the works for April as well.
Woodfin has long been drawn to making and performing music. He first picked up a guitar when he was about 13. A penchant for the drums and a powerful singing voice soon surfaced as well. Woodfin was also only 14- or 15-years-old when he started writing his own music.
“I played a little bit of guitar, and there was a weekend when we had some company come over,” he recalls. “An old friend who used to play in bands set up his drum kit and we jammed around. That really sparked something in me. They left, and the drums stayed put. So I started digging into that.”
Through high school, he played in a band called The Dirties that were refining their own unique punk/rock sound. It took a little bit of getting used to when it came to performing, but Woodfin soon found himself comfortable onstage.
During his years with The Dirties, the band produced an EP featuring songs that were written by the group. They played consistently across Central Alberta as well.
As their high school years wound down, band members started going their separate ways. Woodfin launched into a construction career, but never stopped playing; nor did his love for music and performing wane one bit. “I went up to Fort McMurray for about five years and played up there some more, then when I came back here I thought, I have to do this,” he explains.
And as he grew older, Woodfin also began to find country music extremely compelling. He’s visited Nashville over the years, too, which has further crystallized his passion for the genre.
Meanwhile, connecting with audiences provides all the inspiration he needs to stay focused on honing his skills as well. Besides working full-time plus pursuing his musical career, he also teaches guitar. He’s committed to learning all he can about music. “I don’t think at any point you should feel like you are done learning – I just want to try and improve, do better shows and grow.
“I feel like in the coming months we could have some real traction,” he adds. “I’m excited for people to hear the material, and we’re going to be doing more recording and growing – I can’t wait.”